Friday, 10 June 2011

Apricot, Ginger & White Chocolate Cookies

Makes 20-30
Source: ‘Jamie’ magazine

225g of unsalted butter
225g golden caster sugar
170g of condensed milk
350g of self-raising flour
150g of good quality white chocolate
50g stem ginger (or a tea spoon of ground ginger)
100g dried apricots

 pre-heat oven to 160c. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Stir in condensed milk and then sift in the flour. Add the chocolate, ginger and apricots to the mixture and stir until ingredients make a soft dough. Dollop a large teaspoon of the mixture into a round ball onto the trays and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool and then transfer to a tin.

Today I craved something simple and new, tired of tasting the same pre-packaged sweet biscuits with my tea. I went hunting through old issues of Jamie magazine to find something that I could test my measuring abilities with (as Jamie magazine is from the UK, it requires constant conversions of measurements and percentages… this can become a little tedious)

I found this basic cookie recipe tucked away on the last few pages of the magazine. I went down to the supermarket with my little list and was surprised when a few of the ingredients mentioned were not available in my local Coles. This made me slightly cross, more so at the lack of variety I was confronted with in the supermarket aisle; but also at Jamie Oliver’s overly complicated cookie recipe. The recipe is a basic butter cookie mix, but requires ‘special’ items like golden caster sugar. This ‘fancy’ sugar was not available to me today, so I opted for the cheap organic Coles brand of white caster sugar.

After I unpacked my goods I started on creaming the butter, using my miniature food processor I begun blending the butter and sugar in small batches (this became difficult as my butter was slightly cooler then room temperature). Let me just say this, never let anyone say you do not need a decent sized ‘Kitchen Aid’ or adult sized food processor. The creaming took far too long for my liking and made me want to rush out to Matchbox and purchase a new helpful appliance.

After the butter was creamed (painstakingly), I began chopping up the apricots and chocolate into small chunky pieces. Then I added a small amount of raw ginger to the chopped mixture.

Next time I will add more raw ginger as it gave the end product a good kick.

Chocolate, ginger and apricot mixture waiting to be combined with the flour and butter.

The dough turned out better then I expected (as I was quite generous with my condensed milk). 

Unfortunately my small oven meant that I had to do the baking in two batches (four trays).  Once baked my cute little golden cookies smelt delicious.

 I would suggest if you are going to make these cookies you will need a good portion of the day; these are not to be rushed. The oven temperature suggested in Jamie is too low and takes far too long. I had my oven sitting on about 175 fan forced and kept them in the oven for 15 minutes. Also I love ginger and felt the amount in the recipe was too little, next time I think I will grate a little raw ginger in there to make a tangy sweetness.

All in all, the cookies turned out well and were very tasty, but I do think it requires a little cooking knowledge and an interest in experimintation. Add any sort of dried fruit, nut or spice to this recipe and it would only improve it!

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